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The Inevitable Truth - Why Motivating Employees is a Must!

Motivating employees can be one of your biggest challenges as an employer, but learning how to inspire your workforce is the key to a successful organisation. Constant pressure to increase productivity, profitability and revenue growth can often overshadow the importance of how an unengaged workforce can negatively affect corporate performance.

This article will provide you with tips for motivating employees that will help your organisation unlock human potential. Whether you're an executive, a manager, or a team leader, you too know that motivating employees is a must!

Nationwide studies have shown that up to 80% of employees are not motivated by their work. Now that's a staggering number! Take a look around your office; how many people seem actively motivated and engaged in what they are doing?

Many organisations continuously face the problems associated with decreased employee motivation including complacency, declining morale, and widespread discouragement in the workplace. If allowed to continue, these problems can reduce productivity, earnings and competitiveness in your business.

Motivating employees is crucial to the success of our rapidly changing workplaces. Motivated employees help organisations survive by being more productive. Effective managers need to understand what motivates each individual employee within the context of their job. Of all the functions a manager performs, motivating employees is arguably the most complex due to the fact that what motivates employees changes constantly.

Motivating employees will help you improve employee engagement in your workforce so that you can maintain a productive, successful business.

Help yourself find ways to improve low employee motivation by identifying what drives them and teach them to live up to their full potential, which creates an environment for increased productivity and employee morale.

Did you know that money is often not the biggest motivator for an employee?

A recent survey found that only 15% of employees left their jobs because of inadequate salary and benefits. The same study also found that of those who left their jobs:
30% were unhappy with management and the way they managed
25% felt they received no respect for good work
20% complained of limited opportunities for advancement
15% cited inadequate salary and benefits
5% were bored with the job
5% cited other reasons (retirement, career change, sabbatical, travel)
These are all things that you can work and have an effect on! By motivating employees, your organisation can gain the following benefits:
Increased understanding, awareness and changed perspectives
Stronger workplace relationships
Improvement in skills and competency
Increased confidence, job satisfaction and morale
Improved individual performance and self-motivation
Increased employee retention and productivity
Improved decision-making

When people are placed in jobs that match their own abilities, interests, and personalities, employee turnover decreases dramatically, and productivity increases exponentially. This is the key to employee motivation and increased employee morale. Learn more about how assessments can help you gain insight into what drives your people.

How important is employee motivation in your organisation? As a manager, are you actively engaging in activities to drive your people?

As an employee, are your managers communicating with you and succeeding in motivating you?

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Start Engaging and Motivating Your Employees Today!

Be part of the solution, not the problem

Companies have made significant cuts, which almost certainly weigh heavily on those employees who remain. To get the job done, companies rely on a core group of employees whom they trust and believe in. How can you keep these people motivated and engaged to perform and for how long?

A recent survey by Gallup reveals a sobering but unsurprising finding that more than two-thirds of employees aren't engaged in their jobs. The effects of a disengaged workforce can be felt across your entire business and can quickly deteriorate your bottom line.

Each employee, regardless of their rank in the hierarchy, receives so many messages each day that influence their mood, attitude, and work. These are messages about how the company's doing, stock market performance, the Euro debt crisis, the latest earnings reports, buyer behaviour and retail spending, and of course job losses and gains.

These headlines come from the media- family, friends, social networks, coworkers, bosses, and the company in general. (And don't forget that, especially at crucial times, the absence of communication can be a message.) The content, tone, and frequency of these communications can have a tremendous impact on the level of engagement among your employees.

It is impossible to maintain immunity from current events, and the highs and lows can take their toll on even the most focused of your employees. At the end of the day, the one reality people relate to is their relationship with their boss. As a manager, you can have the greatest impact to help your employees rise above the negativity by coaching them, keeping them motivated, and focusing them on task.

Profiles' John Bradford says "When employees and managers understand each other and communicate regularly, engagement goes up." It might sound obvious, and perhaps it is, but it is easier said than done.

How many managers spend most or all of their time behind closed doors and away from their employees? Think about the amount of distance (both literally and figuratively) there is between you and your employees? In these trying times, and especially as most businesses try to begin the calendar year on a profitable note, it is important to maintain a culture of dialogue with your employees.

Of course there are methods of both positive and negative dialogue and reinforcement. Each person is different and is motivated in different ways. Rather than employ a one-size-fits-all approach, an effective manager will tailor his management style to illicit the best response from each employee. While attitudes and morale may be low, you still need to watch for and discipline poor performers. If someone just isn't cutting it, you need to address it and establish corrective measures or else risk that others will assume that poor performance is tolerated.

Hopefully your boss provides you with reassuring messages and helps to keep you on track. Your job is to keep the people for whom you're responsible engaged and motivated. Recognise that when you're feeling down and low, chances are your staff is too. Be careful not to drive a melancholy workforce even lower by mercilessly cracking the whip. Likewise, don't assume a posture of ignorance by hiding in your office and waiting for the sun to start shining again.

Instead, take that opportunity to talk to your employees. By listening, you're not only showing them that you care, but you're also receiving real-time feedback on their concerns and attitudes, which you can then use to either correct problems or find ways to motivate them. But the bottom line is that you're engaging your people, which is most important. If your organisation is suffering from disengagement as was found in the Gallup study, then you have major concerns which should be dealt with by senior leadership and HR.

But don't wait for that to happen. Realise that each person can influence others positively as well as negatively. Start to change your organisation today by connecting with your employees and making a commitment to rise above the negative noise and do something positive.

APRIL 2012

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